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New Faces in Political Methodology

The Penn State Quantitative Social Science Initiative (QuaSSI) is pleased to present New Faces in Political Methodology VII, a conference featuring presentations of work from current graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

All are welcome to attend. Please contact QuaSSI Director, Burt Monroe, if you have any questions.

Saturday, April 26, 2014.
All events in The Databasement (Sparks B001).
Time Speaker  
8:45 Brandon Stewart
ABD, Harvard University

“Computer Assisted Text Analysis for Comparative Politics.”

Brandon Stewart is a Ph.D. student in Harvard University's Department of Government. His work centers on the use of statistical methods for measuring complex political and social phenomena with a particular interest in international relations and automated text analysis

9:30 Constanza Schibber
ABD, Washington University in St. Louis

“The Success of the Legislative Median: Variations in the Separation of Powers and Budget Allocations.”

Connie is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Washington University in Saint Louis and a member of the Democratic Institutions Research Team lead by Brian F. Crisp. Connie's research agenda focuses on Comparative Politics and Political Methodology. She applies Bayesian modeling and data analysis to the study of political institutions, legislative politics, voting behavior and mass/elite linkage. Her dissertation examines the interactions between citizens and representatives in developing countries and more generally the politics of democratic representation. Connie is a Fulbright Alumni and an International Exchange Alumni with the U.S. Department of State.

10:15 Break

10:30 Jason Morgan
ABD, The Ohio State University

“The Latent Path Model for Dynamic Social Networks with an Application to Party Switching in Poland.”

Jason is a PhD candidate in Political Science at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on political methodology and the political transitions in Central and Eastern Europe. Jason's dissertation develops a new model for dynamic networks and applies it to party switching networks in the Polish Sejm. His other current projects include an investigation of the role of political parties in the development of mass-level political ideology in Eastern Europe, the application of a new matching algorithm for weak instruments to the problem of turnout and electoral outcomes in the U.S., and the development of an extension to the exponential random graph model that allows for the explicit incorporation of nodal heterogeneity. Prior to entering the program at OSU, he earned a Masters in Political Science at Boston College and a B.A. in Economics and German at Lewis & Clark College.

11:15 Emily Schilling
ABD, University of Iowa

“Field of Forces: Strategic Interdependence in Legislative Behavior.”

Emily is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Iowa. Her research interests focus on American institutions, especially the United States Congress, and political methodology. Her dissertation research examines the interdependencies that exist in the legislative decision making process by using spatial econometrics to properly account for the relational ties between legislators. In other work, she explores the effect of the gridlock interval on the use of the initiative, the importance of properly measuring geography in policy diffusion studies, and the influence of gender on agenda control and voting behavior. Other methodological research interests include event history analysis and the intersection of formal modeling and empirics.

12:00 Lunch

1:15 Neelanjan Sircar
ABD, Columbia University

“Analyzing Randomized Experiments with Spillovers.”

Neelanjan Sircar is a Dissertation Research Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania and a doctoral candidate in Political Science at Columbia University. His substantive research interests include Indian political economy and voter behavior. His methodological work has focused on the intersection between lab and field design and Bayesian estimation techniques, with a particular focus on social networks. His recent projects include estimation of village-level discrimination through dictator games, detection of biases in distribution in fixed-budget allocation games, and causal identification in the presence of network/spatial spillovers. He received a BachelorŐs degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics from UC Berkeley in 2003.

2:00 Adeline Lo
ABD, University of California, San Diego

“Predicting Civil Wars with Higher Order Interactions.”

Adeline is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of California, San Diego in Political Science. Her advisor is Professor James Fowler. She is a current Visiting Scholar at the Statistics Department at Columbia University. Her interests lie in criminal social networks, economic development, and political methodology. Current projects include applying and updating bioinformatic and statistical methods towards political conflict and voting data to flexibly account for higher order interactions. Her development work focuses on ethnic politics and economic well-being in West Africa.

2:45 Break

3:00 Yuki Shiraito
ABD, Princeton University

“Strengthening Weak Instruments by Modeling Compliance.”

Yuki is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Politics at Princeton University. His research focuses on quantitative political methodology and political economy. He is especially interested in extending parametric and non-parametric Bayesian methods in order to address methodological problems in political science. His current work includes statistical analysis of a network of text documents and improving instrumental variable analysis. Prior to Princeton, he received his undergraduate and Master's degree in law and politics from the University of Tokyo, Japan.

3:45 Paasha Mahdavi
ABD, University of California, Los Angeles

“Extortion in the Oil States: Nationalization, Regulatory Structure, and Corruption.”

Paasha is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science and M.S. candidate in Statistics at UCLA. His research interests include comparative political economy, political methodology, and energy politics. Paasha's dissertation investigates the causes and effects of oil nationalizations cross-nationally and proposes novel measures of nationalization, energy-related corruption, and political connectivity among the oil elite. His additional work includes using Google-based algorithms to collect non-obtrusive data for statistical network analysis; Bayesian mixture modeling for longitudinal data; the impact of oil revenues on parliamentary politics in Iran; subnational revenue distribution of natural gas royalties in Peru (with Felipe Nunes); and simultaneous equation modeling to estimate effects of expropriation on human rights violations.